The Sinner was heralded by a storm of publicity regarding its director Willi Forst and its star Hildergarde Neff. The film was Forst's first effort since 1942, and as such it was highly anticipated. The film was also Neff's last German production before her "new" career in Hollywood. According to most contemporary reviews, The Sinner was considered unworthy of Forst's and Neff's talents, though this may have been a negative reaction to the publicity blitz. The film casts its star as a young girl who is no better than she ought to be, but whose good intentions outweigh her bad impulses. Believing she has finally found true love in the form of an artist (Gustav Frolich), the girl is in for a major disappointment when her lover begins behaving erratically due to a brain tumor. The spectacularly tragic ending to this sorry little tale, coupled with a handful of highly censurable love scenes, seriously impaired any chances for The Sinner to achieve box-office success in the U.S.
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